Catechism of Pope St. Pius X: Preliminary Lesson – On Christian Doctrine and its Principal Parts
Q. Are you a Christian?
A. Yes, I am a Christian, by the grace of God.
Q. Why do you say: By the grace of God?
A. I say: By the grace of God, because to be a Christian is a perfectly gratuitous gift of God, which we ourselves could not have merited.
Q. Who is a true Christian?
A. A true Christian is he who is baptized, who believes and professes the Christian Doctrine, and obeys the lawful pastors of the Church.
Q. What is Christian Doctrine?
A. Christian doctrine is the doctrine which Jesus Christ our Lord taught us to show us the way of salvation.
Q. Is it necessary to learn the doctrine taught by Jesus Christ?
A. It certainly is necessary to learn the doctrine taught by Jesus Christ, and those who fail to do so are guilty of a grave breach of duty.
Q. Are parents and guardians bound to send their children and those dependent on them to catechism?
A. Parents and guardians are bound to see that their children and dependents learn Christian Doctrine, and they are guilty before God if they neglect this duty.
Q. From whom are we to receive and learn Christian Doctrine?
A. We are to receive and learn Christian Doctrine from the Holy Catholic Church.
Q. How are we certain that the Christian Doctrine which we receive from the Holy Catholic Church is really true?
A. We are certain that the doctrine which we receive from the Holy Catholic Church is true, because Jesus Christ, the divine Author of this doctrine, committed it through His Apostles to the Church, which he founded and made the infallible teacher of all men, promising her His divine assistance until the end of time.
Q. Are there proofs of the truth of Christian Doctrine?
A. The truth of Christian Doctrine is also shown by the eminent sanctity of number who have professed it and who still profess it, by the heroic fortitude of the martyrs, by its marvelous and rapid propagation in the world, and by its perfect preservation throughout so many centuries of ceaseless and varied struggles.
Q. What and how many are the principal and most necessary parts of Christian Doctrine?
A. The principal and most necessary parts of Christian Doctrine are four The Creed, The Our Father, The Commandments, and The Sacraments.
Q. What does the Creed teach us?
A. The Creed teaches us the principal articles of our holy faith.
Q. What does the Our Father teach us?
A. The Our Father teaches us all that we are to hope from God, and all we are to ask of Him.
Q. What do the Commandments teach us?
A. The Commandments teach us all that we are to do to please God – all of which is summed up in loving God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
Q. What does the doctrine of the Sacraments teach us?
A. The doctrine of the Sacraments shows us the nature and right use of those means which Jesus Christ has instituted to remit our sins, give us His grace, infuse into and increase in us the virtues of the faith, hope, and charity.
– Lucas G. Westman